Summer is always a busy season on our little farm. This summer, though, is probably the busiest I’ve experienced since I was in college. My younger two kids and I were gone the better part of two weeks in June for Bible Bowl tournaments, and my oldest daughter and I are soon headed to Haiti (hopefully) for her first mission trip. I say “hopefully” because Haiti is fairly unstable right now with recent rioting over the proposed removal of fuel subsidies, which would result in skyrocketing fuel prices. Needless to say, that situation is taking up more of my brain space than I’d like to admit.
Anywho, good news is always welcome in my world, and we had some very unexpected good news yesterday. Two fluffy chicks greeted my son with noisy peeps yesterday morning! I love babies of almost anything (except maybe possums and raccoons…just because I know they’ll grow up to terrorize our flocks and gardens), and surprise babies are even more special. We had a surprise chick a few weeks ago, but it unfortunately didn’t make it. We think the roosters may have had something to do with that.
To increase survival odds of these new arrivals, we relocated them and two of the broody hens to our old chicken run, temporarily dubbing it the Maternity Ward. They’re all tucked safely into the coop and seem to be enjoying their new space. I get a kick out of watching the mommas try to stay between us and their babies. Those little ones are under a faceful of their momma’s feathers more often than not!
To add to the festivities, we got a call from the U.S. Postal Service this morning to let us know the broilers we ordered last spring are in. These little ones (50 total) take a lot more care and attention. It took me about an hour to get them set up in their temporary residence in our garage and to make sure they knew how to drink from the nipple watering system. Once they’re big enough, we will transition them out to a moveable coop that Farmer Dave built a few years ago. They’ll get a fresh patch of grass every day as we pull their coop around the yard. While they mow and fertilize our grass, they will also develop high-quality meat for our freezer. They grow so quickly that they’ll be ready for processing by mid-September. It’s really a pretty good system, and I’m thankful we can do it.
Life does not always bring us what we order, but there is always beauty and blessing all around. While my days just got even busier with these new arrivals, they also got more full. New life is a beautiful thing, and I take great delight in caring for babies. In addition to that, we have the hope of quality meat for our freezer and more hens to lay eggs. We can also look forward to learning new things and sharpening old skills.
Every day brings opportunities that are a gift. There is a tendency for us to view many of life’s opportunities as burdens. Or, we can get so caught up in our responsibilities that we race through each day as though our sole purpose is merely to meet each obligation. The best option is to give thanks for these opportunities and allow them to grow us closer to the Lord and to the people around us. We really do get to make a choice.
So, today, join me in choosing gratitude. Even if you don’t feel it, speak it. Write down your blessings if you need to. Start a list and add to it every day. Call out your blessings while you’re mowing the yard or rocking the baby or driving down the road. A grateful attitude can take a sick heart and make it well. It can breathe life into a stagnant spirit. It can make the difference between joy and bitterness.